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To investigate the timing and routes of contamination of the rooms of patients newly admitted to the hospital.
Observational cohort study and simulations of pathogen transfer.
A Veterans’ Affairs hospital.
Patients newly admitted to the hospital with no known carriage of healthcare-associated pathogens.
Interactions between the participants and personnel or portable equipment were observed, and cultures of high-touch surfaces, floors, bedding, and patients’ socks and skin were collected for up to 4 days. Cultures were processed for Clostridioides difﬁcile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Simulations were conducted with bacteriophage MS2 to assess plausibility of transfer from contaminated floors to high-touch surfaces and to assess the effectiveness of wearing slippers in reducing transfer.
Environmental cultures became positive for at least 1 pathogen in 10 (59%) of the 17 rooms, with cultures positive for MRSA, C. difficile, and VRE in the rooms of 10 (59%), 2 (12%), and 2 (12%) participants, respectively. For all 14 instances of pathogen detection, the initial site of recovery was the floor followed in a subset of patients by detection on sock bottoms, bedding, and high-touch surfaces. In simulations, wearing slippers over hospital socks dramatically reduced transfer of bacteriophage MS2 from the floor to hands and to high-touch surfaces.
Floors may be an underappreciated source of pathogen dissemination in healthcare facilities. Simple interventions such as having patients wear slippers could potentially reduce the risk for transfer of pathogens from floors to hands and high-touch surfaces.
Aggressive behavior in middle childhood can contribute to peer rejection, subsequently increasing risk for substance use in adolescence. However, the quality of peer relationships a child experiences can be associated with his or her genetic predisposition, a genotype–environment correlation (rGE). In addition, recent evidence indicates that psychosocial preventive interventions can buffer genetic predispositions for negative behavior. The current study examined associations between polygenic risk for aggression, aggressive behavior, and peer rejection from 8.5 to 10.5 years, and the subsequent influence of peer rejection on marijuana use in adolescence (n = 515; 256 control, 259 intervention). Associations were examined separately in control and intervention groups for children of families who participated in a randomized controlled trial of the family-based preventive intervention, the Family Check-Up . Using time-varying effect modeling (TVEM), polygenic risk for aggression was associated with peer rejection from approximately age 8.50 to 9.50 in the control group but no associations were present in the intervention group. Subsequent analyses showed peer rejection mediated the association between polygenic risk for aggression and adolescent marijuana use in the control group. The role of rGEs in middle childhood peer processes and implications for preventive intervention programs for adolescent substance use are discussed.
Reduction in the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics has been associated with reductions in Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs) due to fluoroquinolone-resistant strains.
To determine whether facility-level fluoroquinolone use predicts healthcare facility-associated (HCFA) CDI due to fluoroquinolone-resistant 027 strains.
Using a nationwide cohort of hospitalized patients in the Veterans’ Affairs Healthcare System, we identified hospitals that categorized >80% of CDI cases as positive or negative for the 027 strain for at least one-quarter of fiscal years 2011–2018. Within these facilities, we used visual summaries and multilevel logistic regression models to assess the association between facility-level fluoroquinolone use and rates of HCFA-CDI due to 027 strains, controlling for time and facility complexity level, and adjusting for correlated outcomes within facilities.
Between 2011 and 2018, 55 hospitals met criteria for reporting 027 results, including a total of 5,091 HCFA-CDI cases, with 1,017 infections (20.0%) due to 027 strains. Across these facilities, the use of fluoroquinolones decreased by 52% from 2011 to 2018, with concurrent reductions in the overall HCFA-CDI rate and the proportion of HCFA-CDI cases due to the 027 strain of 13% and 55%, respectively. A multilevel logistic model demonstrated a significant effect of facility-level fluoroquinolone use on the proportion of infections in the facility due to the 027 strain, most noticeably in low-complexity facilities.
Our findings provide support for interventions to reduce use of fluroquinolones as a control measure for CDI, particularly in settings where fluoroquinolone use is high and fluoroquinolone-resistant strains are common causes of infection.
Since April 2004, Government policy in England upholds that clinicians should send copies of their clinical letters to their patients. However, some argue that patients already have the right to access their records under the Data Protection Act, 1998. Others suggest it wiser not to provide a letter in certain circumstances. Little evidence is available examining the factors that impact on and underlie patients’ views in relation to this.
To inform professionals about patients’ views on receiving clinical letters.
To establish the proportion and characteristics of patients who would like to receive clinical letters and to elicit underlying reasons for decisions.
Subjects were randomly sampled from an outpatient clinic and data collected using an 11-item questionnaire, between October 2010 and July 2013.
The majority (60%) of patients wished to receive their clinical letter. Most (62%) favoured wanting to know about treatment primarily. Of those who did not wish to have a copy, greatest concerns were of loss in the post and ‘unnecessary paperwork’ (each 11%). This group of patients were characteristically male, aged 61-80, of asian ethnicity, unmarried and unemployed. Patients with a diagnosis of adult personality and behaviour (ICD-10 F60-69) were most likely to opt to receive their clinical letter.
Although the majority preferred to receive clinical letters, reasons for preferences varied widely. With an increasing drive towards greater transparency in the health service, approaches to enhancing patient involvement will need to be flexible to the individual to enable truly meaningful patient participation.
Alluvial mineral sands rank among the most complex subjects for mineral characterization due to the diverse range of minerals present in the sediments, which may collectively contain a daunting number of elements (>20) in major or minor concentrations (>1 wt%). To comprehensively characterize the phase abundance and chemistry of these complex mineral specimens, a method was developed using hyperspectral x-ray and cathodoluminescence mapping in an electron probe microanalyser (EPMA), coupled with automated cluster analysis and quantitative analysis of clustered x-ray spectra. This method proved successful in identifying and quantifying over 40 phases from mineral sand specimens, including unexpected phases with low modal abundance (<0.1%). The standard-based quantification method measured compositions in agreement with expected stoichiometry, with elemental detection limits in the range of <10–1,000 ppm, depending on phase abundance, and proved reliable even for challenging mineral species, such as the multi-rare earth element (REE) bearing mineral xenotime [(Y,REE)PO4] for which 24 elements were analyzed, including 12 overlapped REEs. The mineral identification procedure was also capable of characterizing mineral groups that exhibit significant compositional variability due to the substitution of multiple elements, such as garnets (Mg, Ca, Fe, Mn, Cr), pyroxenes (Mg, Ca, Fe), and amphiboles (Na, Mg, Ca, Fe, Al).
Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is the most frequently reported hospital-acquired infection in the United States. Bioaerosols generated during toilet flushing are a possible mechanism for the spread of this pathogen in clinical settings.
To measure the bioaerosol concentration from toilets of patients with CDI before and after flushing.
In this pilot study, bioaerosols were collected 0.15 m, 0.5 m, and 1.0 m from the rims of the toilets in the bathrooms of hospitalized patients with CDI. Inhibitory, selective media were used to detect C. difficile and other facultative anaerobes. Room air was collected continuously for 20 minutes with a bioaerosol sampler before and after toilet flushing. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to assess the difference in bioaerosol production before and after flushing.
Rooms of patients with CDI at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Bacteria were positively cultured from 8 of 24 rooms (33%). In total, 72 preflush and 72 postflush samples were collected; 9 of the preflush samples (13%) and 19 of the postflush samples (26%) were culture positive for healthcare-associated bacteria. The predominant species cultured were Enterococcus faecalis, E. faecium, and C. difficile. Compared to the preflush samples, the postflush samples showed significant increases in the concentrations of the 2 large particle-size categories: 5.0 µm (P = .0095) and 10.0 µm (P = .0082).
Bioaerosols produced by toilet flushing potentially contribute to hospital environmental contamination. Prevention measures (eg, toilet lids) should be evaluated as interventions to prevent toilet-associated environmental contamination in clinical settings.
This study examined the long-term effects of a randomized controlled trial of the Family Check-Up (FCU) intervention initiated at age 2 on inhibitory control in middle childhood and adolescent internalizing and externalizing problems. We hypothesized that the FCU would promote higher inhibitory control in middle childhood relative to the control group, which in turn would be associated with lower internalizing and externalizing symptomology at age 14. Participants were 731 families, with half (n = 367) of the families assigned to the FCU intervention. Using an intent-to-treat design, results indicate that the FCU intervention was indirectly associated with both lower internalizing and externalizing symptoms at age 14 via its effect on increased inhibitory control in middle childhood (i.e., ages 8.5–10.5). Findings highlight the potential for interventions initiated in toddlerhood to have long-term impacts on self-regulation processes, which can further reduce the risk for behavioral and emotional difficulties in adolescence.
To assess the impact of a newly developed Central-Line Insertion Site Assessment (CLISA) score on the incidence of local inflammation or infection for CLABSI prevention.
A pre- and postintervention, quasi-experimental quality improvement study.
Setting and participants:
Adult inpatients with central venous catheters (CVCs) hospitalized in an intensive care unit or oncology ward at a large academic medical center.
We evaluated CLISA score impact on insertion site inflammation and infection (CLISA score of 2 or 3) incidence in the baseline period (June 2014–January 2015) and the intervention period (April 2015–October 2017) using interrupted times series and generalized linear mixed-effects multivariable analyses. These were run separately for days-to-line removal from identification of a CLISA score of 2 or 3. CLISA score interrater reliability and photo quiz results were evaluated.
Among 6,957 CVCs assessed 40,846 times, percentage of lines with CLISA score of 2 or 3 in the baseline and intervention periods decreased by 78.2% (from 22.0% to 4.7%), with a significant immediate decrease in the time-series analysis (P < .001). According to the multivariable regression, the intervention was associated with lower percentage of lines with a CLISA score of 2 or 3, after adjusting for age, gender, CVC body location, and hospital unit (odds ratio, 0.15; 95% confidence interval, 0.06–0.34; P < .001). According to the multivariate regression, days to removal of lines with CLISA score of 2 or 3 was 3.19 days faster after the intervention (P < .001). Also, line dwell time decreased 37.1% from a mean of 14 days (standard deviation [SD], 10.6) to 8.8 days (SD, 9.0) (P < .001). Device utilization ratios decreased 9% from 0.64 (SD, 0.08) to 0.58 (SD, 0.06) (P = .039).
The CLISA score creates a common language for assessing line infection risk and successfully promotes high compliance with best practices in timely line removal.
Given the evidence of multi-parameter risk factors in shaping cognitive outcomes in aging, including sleep, inflammation, cardiometabolism, and mood disorders, multidimensional investigations of their impact on cognition are warranted. We sought to determine the extent to which self-reported sleep disturbances, metabolic syndrome (MetS) factors, cellular inflammation, depressive symptomatology, and diminished physical mobility were associated with cognitive impairment and poorer cognitive performance.
This is a cross-sectional study.
Participants with elevated, well-controlled blood pressure were recruited from the local community for a Tai Chi and healthy-aging intervention study.
One hundred forty-five older adults (72.7 ± 7.9 years old; 66% female), 54 (37%) with evidence of cognitive impairment (CI) based on Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score ≤24, underwent medical, psychological, and mood assessments.
CI and cognitive domain performance were assessed using the MoCA. Univariate correlations were computed to determine relationships between risk factors and cognitive outcomes. Bootstrapped logistic regression was used to determine significant predictors of CI risk and linear regression to explore cognitive domains affected by risk factors.
The CI group were slower on the mobility task, satisfied more MetS criteria, and reported poorer sleep than normocognitive individuals (all p < 0.05). Multivariate logistic regression indicated that sleep disturbances, but no other risk factors, predicted increased risk of evidence of CI (OR = 2.00, 95% CI: 1.26–4.87, 99% CI: 1.08–7.48). Further examination of MoCA cognitive subdomains revealed that sleep disturbances predicted poorer executive function (β = –0.26, 95% CI: –0.51 to –0.06, 99% CI: –0.61 to –0.02), with lesser effects on visuospatial performance (β = –0.20, 95% CI: –0.35 to –0.02, 99% CI: –0.39 to 0.03), and memory (β = –0.29, 95% CI: –0.66 to –0.01, 99% CI: –0.76 to 0.08).
Our results indicate that the deleterious impact of self-reported sleep disturbances on cognitive performance was prominent over other risk factors and illustrate the importance of clinician evaluation of sleep in patients with or at risk of diminished cognitive performance. Future, longitudinal studies implementing a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and objective sleep measurement are warranted to further explore these associations.
Building on prior work using Tom Dishion's Family Check-Up, the current article examined intervention effects on dysregulated irritability in early childhood. Dysregulated irritability, defined as reactive and intense response to frustration, and prolonged angry mood, is an ideal marker of neurodevelopmental vulnerability to later psychopathology because it is a transdiagnostic indicator of decrements in self-regulation that are measurable in the first years of life that have lifelong implications for health and disease. This study is perhaps the first randomized trial to examine the direct effects of an evidence- and family-based intervention, the Family Check-Up (FCU), on irritability in early childhood and the effects of reductions in irritability on later risk of child internalizing and externalizing symptomatology. Data from the geographically and sociodemographically diverse multisite Early Steps randomized prevention trial were used. Path modeling revealed intervention effects on irritability at age 4, which predicted lower externalizing and internalizing symptoms at age 10.5. Results indicate that family-based programs initiated in early childhood can reduce early childhood irritability and later risk for psychopathology. This holds promise for earlier identification and prevention approaches that target transdiagnostic pathways. Implications for future basic and prevention research are discussed.
Several research teams have previously traced patterns of emerging conduct problems (CP) from early or middle childhood. The current study expands on this previous literature by using a genetically-informed, experimental, and long-term longitudinal design to examine trajectories of early-emerging conduct problems and early childhood discriminators of such patterns from the toddler period to adolescence. The sample represents a cohort of 731 toddlers and diverse families recruited based on socioeconomic, child, and family risk, varying in urbanicity and assessed on nine occasions between ages 2 and 14. In addition to examining child, family, and community level discriminators of patterns of emerging conduct problems, we were able to account for genetic susceptibility using polygenic scores and the study's experimental design to determine whether random assignment to the Family Check-Up (FCU) discriminated trajectory groups. In addition, in accord with differential susceptibility theory, we tested whether the effects of the FCU were stronger for those children with higher genetic susceptibility. Results augmented previous findings documenting the influence of child (inhibitory control [IC], gender) and family (harsh parenting, parental depression, and educational attainment) risk. In addition, children in the FCU were overrepresented in the persistent low versus persistent high CP group, but such direct effects were qualified by an interaction between the intervention and genetic susceptibility that was consistent with differential susceptibility. Implications are discussed for early identification and specifically, prevention efforts addressing early child and family risk.
Background: Cervical sponylotic myelopathy (CSM) may present with neck and arm pain. This study investiagtes the change in neck/arm pain post-operatively in CSM. Methods: This ambispective study llocated 402 patients through the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. Outcome measures were the visual analogue scales for neck and arm pain (VAS-NP and VAS-AP) and the neck disability index (NDI). The thresholds for minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were determined to be 2.6 and 4.1. Results: VAS-NP improved from mean of 5.6±2.9 to 3.8±2.7 at 12 months (P<0.001). VAS-AP improved from 5.8±2.9 to 3.5±3.0 at 12 months (P<0.001). The MCIDs for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were also reached at 12 months. Based on the NDI, patients were grouped into those with mild pain/no pain (33%) versus moderate/severe pain (67%). At 3 months, a significantly high proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain (45.8%) demonstrated an improvement into mild/no pain, whereas 27.2% with mild/no pain demonstrated worsening into moderate/severe pain (P <0.001). At 12 months, 17.4% with mild/no pain experienced worsening of their NDI (P<0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that neck and arm pain responds to surgical decompression in patients with CSM and reaches the MCIDs for VAS-AP and VAS-NP at 12 months.
The ALMA twenty-six arcmin2 survey of GOODS-S at one millimeter (ASAGAO) is a deep (1σ ∼ 61μJy/beam) and wide area (26 arcmin2) survey on a contiguous field at 1.2 mm. By combining with archival data, we obtained a deeper map in the same region (1σ ∼ 30μJy/beam−1, synthesized beam size 0.59″ × 0.53″), providing the largest sample of sources (25 sources at 5σ, 45 sources at 4.5σ) among ALMA blank-field surveys. The median redshift of the 4.5σ sources is 2.4. The number counts shows that 52% of the extragalactic background light at 1.2 mm is resolved into discrete sources. We create IR luminosity functions (LFs) at z = 1–3, and constrain the faintest luminosity of the LF at 2 < z < 3. The LFs are consistent with previous results based on other ALMA and SCUBA-2 observations, which suggests a positive luminosity evolution and negative density evolution.
Introduction: Recently there have been many studies performed on the effectiveness of implementing LEAN principals to improve wait times for emergency departments (EDs), but there have been relatively few studies on implementing these concepts on length of stay (LOS) in the ED. This research aims to explore the initial feasibility of applying the LEAN model to length-of-stay metrics in an ED by identifying areas of non-value added time for patients staying in the ED. Methods: In this project we used a sample of 10,000 ED visits at the Health Science Centre in St. John's over a 1-year period and compared patients’ LOS in the ED on four criteria: day of the week, hour of presentation, whether laboratory tests were ordered, and whether diagnostic imaging was ordered. Two sets of analyses were then performed. First a two-sided Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to evaluate whether ordering either lab tests or diagnostic imaging affected LOS. Second a generalized linear model (GLM) was created using a 10-fold cross-validation with a LASSO operator to analyze the effect size and significance of each of the four criteria on LOS. Additionally, a post-test analysis of the GLM was performed on a second sample of 10,000 ED visits in the same 1-year period to assess its predictive power and infer the degree to which a patient's LOS is determined by the four criteria. Results: For the Wilcoxon rank-sum test there was no significant difference in LOS for patients who were ordered diagnostic imaging compared to those who were not (p = 0.6998) but there was a statistically significant decrease in LOS for patients who were ordered lab tests compared to those who were not (p = 2.696 x 10-10). When assessing the GLM there were two significant takeaways: ordering lab tests reduced LOS (95% CI = 42.953 - 68.173min reduction), and arriving at the ED on Thursday increased LOS significantly (95% CI = 6.846 – 52.002min increase). Conclusion: This preliminary analysis identified several factors that increased patients’ LOS in the ED, which would be suitable for potential LEAN interventions. The increase in LOS for both patients who are not ordered lab tests and who visit the ED on Thursday warrant further investigation to identify causal factors. Finally, while this analysis revealed several actionable criteria for improving ED LOS the relatively low predictive power of the final GLM in the post-test analysis (R2 = 0.00363) indicates there are more criteria that influence LOS for exploration in future analyses.
Introduction: Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) is a time sensitive aortic catastrophe that is often misdiagnosed. There are currently no Canadian guidelines to aid in diagnosis. Our goal was to adapt the existing American Heart Association (AHA) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) diagnostic algorithms for AAS into a Canadian evidence based best practices algorithm targeted for emergency medicine physicians. Methods: We chose to adapt existing high-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPG) previously developed by the AHA/ESC using the GRADE ADOLOPMENT approach. We created a National Advisory Committee consisting of 21 members from across Canada including academic, community and remote/rural emergency physicians/nurses, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, critical care physicians, cardiologist, radiologists and patient representatives. The Advisory Committee communicated through multiple teleconference meetings, emails and a one-day in person meeting. The panel prioritized questions and outcomes, using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to assess evidence and make recommendations. The algorithm was prepared and revised through feedback and discussions and through an iterative process until consensus was achieved. Results: The diagnostic algorithm is comprised of an updated pre test probability assessment tool with further testing recommendations based on risk level. The updated tool incorporates likelihood of an alternative diagnosis and point of care ultrasound. The final best practice diagnostic algorithm defined risk levels as Low (0.5% no further testing), Moderate (0.6-5% further testing required) and High ( >5% computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, trans esophageal echocardiography). During the consensus and feedback processes, we addressed a number of issues and concerns. D-dimer can be used to reduce probability of AAS in an intermediate risk group, but should not be used in a low or high-risk group. Ultrasound was incorporated as a bedside clinical examination option in pre test probability assessment for aortic insufficiency, abdominal/thoracic aortic aneurysms. Conclusion: We have created the first Canadian best practice diagnostic algorithm for AAS. We hope this diagnostic algorithm will standardize and improve diagnosis of AAS in all emergency departments across Canada.
Filamentary structures can form within the beam of protons accelerated during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with an ultrathin foil target. Such behaviour is shown to be dependent upon the formation time of quasi-static magnetic field structures throughout the target volume and the extent of the rear surface proton expansion over the same period. This is observed via both numerical and experimental investigations. By controlling the intensity profile of the laser drive, via the use of two temporally separated pulses, both the initial rear surface proton expansion and magnetic field formation time can be varied, resulting in modification to the degree of filamentary structure present within the laser-driven proton beam.